February 15, 2019 / By Michelle
If you know anything about Melbourne, then you'll have heard of the Mornington Peninsula. It's a beautiful part of the coast just over an hour’s drive from the city that offers wonderful charm all of its own. It is well worth spending a couple of days exploring the coastline from Mornington to Portsea and beyond. As far as quality family activities go, you are definitely spoiled for choice, and it can be difficult to know where to begin. So here are my top choices to get you started.
1. Go Dolphin Spotting
If you adore animals, especially dolphins and seals, then you're in luck as Port Phillip Bay is the perfect place to do a bit of dolphin and seal spotting. You can take a boat ride from Sorrento, admire the peace and tranquillity of the water and take in the wildlife at the same time. Or, if you are feeling more adventurous, you can go swimming with the dolphins and seals for a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once you have finished your water adventure, you can celebrate with a scrumptious vanilla slice from Just Fine Food in Sorrento.
2. Sample Chocolate
If you have a thing for fine chocolate (and let’s face it, who doesn’t!), then you will adore a trip to Mornington Peninsula Chocolates in Flinders. Handmade on site, you can take your time and sample the wide array of chocolate goodness on offer alongside a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. They also serve up delicious gelato if that is more to your liking. While in Flinders, you can walk off the sugary eats by taking a stroll down to the Flinders’ pier to admire the beautiful views.
3. Try Your Hand At Tree Surfing
Tree surfing is a real experience on offer at the Enchanted Adventure Garden in Arthurs Seat. If you are travelling with children, note the youngest surfers must be over 135cm in height. The treetop climbing experience offers an activity course featuring obstacles, bridges and zip lines which are all linked to platforms up to 10 metres high. And if height is no issue, then you might want to finish up with a ride on the Eagle (also in Arthurs Seat), a gondola ride which takes you from Dromana to Arthurs Seat, and back again should you wish. Each gondola holds eight people and, at its summit, is 314 metres high.
4. Stroll Millionaire’s Walk
Millionaire’s Walk allows you to explore the area between Portsea and Sorrento on foot. As the name suggests, you can get to see some amazing summer homes in this area and really view how the other half lives. Millionaire’s Walk is actually a part of a longer trail known as the Sorrento Portsea Artists’ Trail which showcases reproductions of artwork displayed near to the landscape which provided the real-life inspiration for the painting. You may find yourself going home and creating a work of art of your own once you leave this stunning place.
5. Get Lost In A Maze
Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Farm is terrific for visitors of all ages and features a hedge maze which was planted over 40 years ago. There is also a Lavender Labyrinth and a Rose Maze to ensure that there is plenty to keep the whole family amused. You can search the gardens for the gnomes which are hidden around the grounds or relax in the Ashcombe Café sipping on lavender tea while enjoying a side of lavender scones or lavender ice-cream. Once you have a taste for all things mazes, you may want to continue your maze tour at Arthurs Seat which offers three more border hedge mazes for your puzzling pleasure.
6. Ride The Ferry
The ferry will take you from Sorrento to Queenscliff and back again, and is a fun-filled 40-minute journey each way. The ferry runs every day on the hour from 7 am until 6 pm, and up until 7 pm during peak season. The ferry takes passengers travelling by car or on foot, and there are one-way or return fares available. You can choose to explore the Bellarine Peninsula or double back and extend your Mornington Peninsula experience. Whichever way you do it, make sure you keep an eye out for those dolphins swimming in the waters below.
7. Go For A Horse Ride On The Beach
If horse riding on the beach sounds particularly appealing, then the St Andrews Beach Ride should be high on your priority list. The 2-hour beach ride is suitable for experienced or inexperienced horse riders and will take you through the bush and out onto the beautiful sandy beach. Twilight beach rides and early beach rides are also available. It is a magical way to explore the beauty of the great outdoors.
8. Explore An Old Fort
If you enjoy learning about Australian history, especially that relating to World War One and Two, then you will appreciate the opportunity to explore Fort Nepean at Portsea. Fortifying the entrance to Port Phillip Bay, you can see exactly how this fascinating military site has earned its place in history. Fort Nepean is part of the Point Nepean National Park, where you can explore the forts and tunnels which make this place so unique. You can choose to walk over 2km each way from the car park to the fort, or take the shuttle bus for ease.
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